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David Porter » Reviews » Cambridge Footlights

Cambridge Footlights

The Cut, Halesworth

Review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 8 September 2007

Cambridge Footlights

Fun seekers go to a comedy sketch show with certain expectations. Cambridge Footlights raises anticipation even higher.

Think of stars like Peter Cook, Eric Idle, Fry and Laurie and Mitchell and Webb. It’s the perfect testing ground for young comic talent, and it has been around since 1883, in fact.

Today’s version, whimsically called Wham Bam, begins as a two-hour journey down the road of the obvious. Sketches in a bookshop, playing chess, teachers, a Christmas party, a speaking ATM…

Gradually it dawns on the audience that the road has become decidedly more surreal and ends in a land of comic high ground with tragedy and pathos for good measure.

Some poignant moments at the edge of life and death are brilliantly sustained in a running gag about “real life”.

Five talented and versatile Cambridge students (not all reading drama) keep up the pace with intellectual banter and a dazzling range of roles. No two performances are ever the same as they swap and go on developing jokes and bizarre situations.

The staging blocks slide about and the improvisation is always fresh and inventive.

It deserves a massively wider audience, such as television would provide, but then it would have its earthy, racy feel all but destroyed.

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